Copyright
California. Legislature.

Appendix to the Journals of the Senate and Assembly of the ... session of the Legislature of the State of California (Volume 1885v.1) online

. (page 48 of 83)
Online LibraryCalifornia. LegislatureAppendix to the Journals of the Senate and Assembly of the ... session of the Legislature of the State of California (Volume 1885v.1) → online text (page 48 of 83)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


the skill of the physician to cure, or even relieve the unfortunate
. insane, thereby defeating the prime object for which asylums are
founded and maintained. The confinement of so many patients
within the narrow limits of one asylum, is incompatable with proper
sanitary regulations, and might in case of a severe epidemic disease,
result in a fearful mortality to the unfortunate inmates committed
to our charge. No temporary expedient can relieve this deplorable
condition.

Invoking the broad charity of California, that she ever dispenses
with an open hand for the relief of her poor unfortunate insane, we
recommend that another asylum be built, south of the bay, and not
far distant from the Citv of San Francisco.



Very respectfully



BENJ. SHURTLEFF,
J. C. MARTIN,
J. F. LAMDIN,
D. L. HAAS,
JOHN Q. BROWN,

Trustees.



TKliASl'KHR'S REPORT.



To the honorable Board of Trustees of the Napa State Asylum for the
Insane :

Gentlemen: I herewith present my report as Treasurer of said
asykira, for the fiscal years ending June 30, 1883, and June 30, 1884,
on account of " Maintenance," " Stable and Barn," Improvement of
Grounds," "Fencing," " Wharf," " Painting," and " Fire Protection."
Vouchers are in my office for all moneys paid out :

THE TREASURER IN ACCOUNT WITH MAINTENANCE FUND FOR THE FISCAL
YEAR ENDING JUNE 30, 1883.

Heceipts.

Balance on hand, per last report S9,634 00

August. 1882, received from the State 15,098 73

August, 1882, received from Dr. Wilkins 781 89

September, 1882, received from Dr. Wilkins 429 13

September, 1882, received from the State 14,974 04

October, 1882, received from Dr. Wilkins 3,280 10

October, 1882, received from the State 14.307 61

November, 1882, received frem Dr. Wilkins 284 85

November, 1882, received from the State 15,002 38

December, 1882, received from Dr. Wilkins 2,783 50

December, 1882, received from the State 17,480 36

January, i 883, received from Dr. Wilkins 202 95'

Januarj', 1883, received from the State 10,000 00

February, 1883, received from the State 22,485 55

February, 1883, received from Dr. Wilkins 1,213 90

March, 1883, received from Dr. Wilkins 396 72

March, 1883, received from the State 15,618 29

May, 1883, received from the State 29,309 91

June, 1883, received from the State 14,477 :^3

July, 1883, received from the State 7,369 75

Total receipts $195,130 99

Mrpenditia-es.
Paid out on orders of the Board of Trustees 187,577 03

Balance on hand $7,553 96



THE TREASURER IN ACCOUNT WITH MAINTENANCE FUND FOR THE FISCAL
YEAR ENDING JUNE 30, 1884.

Heceipts.

Balanceon hand $7,553 96

September, 1883, received from the State 12,823 53

Sej)tember, 1883, received from the State 14,304 61

October, 1883, received from the State 13,981 70

November, 1883, received from the State 14,714 52

December, 1883, received from the State 16,342 22

January, 1884, received from the State 17,256 45

March, 1884, received from the State 33,463 92

April, 1884, received from the State 15.367 90

May, 1884, received from the State . H/JSO 44

June, 1884, received from the State 14,801 79

July, 1884, received from the State 14,547 59

Total receipts... $190,138 63



Expeiiditures.
Paid out on orders of the Board of Trustees $182,586 92

Balance on hand S7,551 71



THE TREASURER IN ACCOUNT WUPH STABLE AND BARN FUND FOR THE FISCAL
YEAR ENDING JUNE 30, 1884.

Receipts.

September, 1883, received from the State $241 75

September, 1883, received from the State 723 65

October, 1883, received from the State -• 1,534 60

Total recciiits $2,500 00

Expenditures.

Paid out ou orders of the Board of Trustees $2,500 00



THE TREASURER IN ACCOUNT WITH IMPROVEMENT OF GROUNDS FUND FOR
THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING JUNE 30, 1884.

Receipts.

September, 1883, received from the State $208 95

October, 1883, received from the State 23 35

November, 1883, received from the State 25 00

January, 1884, received from the State 70 60

March, 1884, received from the State 450 16

April, 1884. received from the State 264 80

May, 1884, received from the State 188 07

June, 1884, received from the State 54 85

July, 1884, received from the State 32 60

Total receipts S1,31S 28

Expenditures.

Paid out on orders of the Board of Trustees $1,318 28



THE TREASURER IN ACCOUNT WITH FENCING FUND FOR THE FISCAL YEAR

ENDING JUNE 30, 1884.

Receipts.

September, 1883, received from the State $210 26

October, 1883, received from the State 476 19

January, 1884, received from the St^te 50 85

March, 1884, received from the State 12 00

April, 1884, received from the State 10010

June, 1884, received from the State 41 76

July, 1884, received from the State 2,109 02

Total receipts $3,000 18

Expenditures.

Paid out on orders of the Board of Trustees - $3,000 18



10

THE TREASURER IN ACCOUNT WITH WHARF FUND FOR THE FISCAL YEAR

ENDING JUNE 30, 1884.

Receipts.

October, 1883, received from the State $192 60

November, 1883, received I'rom the State 307 46

Total receipts _$500 06

Expenditures.
Paid out on orders of the Board of Trustees S500 06



THE TREASURER IN ACCOUNT WITH THE PAINTING FUND FOR THE FISCAL
YEAR ENDING JUNE 30, 1884.

Seceipts.

September, 1883, received from the State $909 31

October, 1883, received from the State 183' 70

November, 1883, received from the State 52 00

Jauuary, 1884, received from the State 90 00

March, 1884, received from the State 131 07

April, 1884, received from the State 122 03

May, 1884, received from the State 61 00

June, 1884, received from the State 136 15

July, 1884, received from the State 814 68

Total receipts $2,499 94

Expenditures.

Paid out on orders of the Board of Trustees $2,499 94



THE TREASURER IN ACCOUNT WITH THE FIRE PROTECTION FUND FOR THE
FISCAL YEAR, ENDING JUNE 30, 1884.

Seceipts.

Januar}', 1884, received from the State $9 25

March, 1884, received from the State 635 66

April, 1884, received from the State 4,338 73

June, 1884. received from the State 178 71

July, 1884, received from the State 399 60

Total receipts $5,561 95

Expenditures.

Paid out on orders of the Board of Trustees $5,206 30

Balance on hand . $355 65

Respectfully submitted.

C. B. SEELEY, Treasurer.
Napa, August 14th, 1884.



11



RESIDENT PHYSICIAN'S REPORT.



To the honorable Board of Trustees of the Napa State Asylum for the
Insane :

Gentlemen: In my last report, for the year ending June 30, 1883,
the movement of the patients was as follows:



Fkom JrxE 30, 1882, to Jvxe 30, 1883.



Number of patients June 30, 1882.
Number admitted during the year

Number under care and treatment

Number discharged, recovered

Number discharged, improved

Number discharged, unimproved. _

Number discharged, not insane

Number died

Number eloped

Discharged, died, and eloped

Number remaining June 30, 1S83_



734
292



271



755



438
171



145



464



1,172
463



1,026


609 ,


1,635


86


41 i


127


79


70


149


10


11


21


4
89


1


4


23


112


3




3







416



1,219



This shows the smallest number received (463) for many years, and
by far the smallest increase (47) for any year since the asylum was
opened. Indeed, I was almost induced to hope the millenium was
about to come. But the following summary for the year ending June
30, 1884, has dissipated that fond delusion, and brought us once more
face to face with the fact that our people are as susceptible to attacks
of mental derangement as ever:



From Jvxe 30, 1883. to .Iuxe 30, 1884.



stales. I Females.



Number of patients June 30, 18S3 755

Number admitted during the year I 327

Number under care and treatment

Number discharged, recovered

Number discharged, improved

Number discharged, unimproved

Number discharged, not insane

Number died

Number eloped i 3

Discharged, died, and eloped 273

Number remaining June 30, 1884 809



464
173



127



510



1,219
500



1,082


637


1,719


101


29


130


87


68


155


10


2


12


9


1


10


63


27


<)0



400



1,319



This summary shows that five hundred patients have been received
in this already overcrowded asylum during the year; and the wonder
is, how it has been possible to accommodate them ; and still more,



12

how such favorable results could be attained. Two hundred and
eighty-five have been discharged as cured, or sufficiently improved
to be returned to their homes; ten gave no evidence of insanity while
in the asylum; twelve were permitted to leave, to be cared for bj-
their families or friends, though unimproved; ninety have died,
being 5.20 per cent of the number treated, and one hundred remain
to be added as the increase for the year.

We begin the present fiscal year, therefore, with 1,319 patients — a
number not equaled by any asylum on this continent in which acute
cases are admitted. Twenty-five States and twenty-nine foreign
countries are represented among the commitments of the year, while
only forty-five were natives to the manor born.

In my estimate, submitted through you to the last regular session
of the Legislature, I asked for an appropriation for maintenance of
§184,817 75. This estimate was based uijon the supposition that 1,235
patients would be the average number resident during the year, and
that 41 cents would be the daily average cost per capita.

I am glad to say that while the average number resident has been
thirty-four in excess of the estimate, the total exj^enditure has been
S2,807 95 less, owing to the fact that the daily average cost per capita
has been reduced to the exceedingly low figure of 38fV cents. This,
however, must not be considered, nor is it claimed to be, the actual
cost of maintenance made upon the basis of former years. The last
Legislature wisely provided that all moneys coming into the hands
of the Board of Trustees, other than that appropriated by that body,
should constitute a Contingent Fund to be used by the Board for
such purposes as might seem to them for the best interest of the insti-
tution — a correct and itemized account of such expenditures to be
made by the Board in their report. Among the items of expenditure
contained in the special report of the Board, I observe several that
have hitherto been paid out of the general fund appropriated by the
Legislature, as will be seen by comparing Table 3 of the Steward's
report for 1883 with the corre-sponding table for 1884. The interest
account, the wages of the landscape gardener, the expenditure on
grounds, extraordinary repairs, and other necessary expenditures,
formerly paid out of the Maintenance Fund, are now paid out of the
Contingent Fund. By this means the same results are obtained for
the State, while the Board is relieved from disagreeable responsibili-
ties unavoidably thrust upon them by urgent necessity, but heretofore
not provided for by law. When these sums are added to that reported
by the Steward, it will be found that my estimate of forty-one cents
per day is not out of the way, and is as little as should be provided
for the maintenance of the insane of this State, while it is far less
than that provided for similar purposes in all the other States of the
Union.

THE REAL CAPACITY AND CROWDED CONDITION OF THE ASYLUM.

Section nine of "An Act to provide further accommodation for the
insane of the State of California, and to provide a special fund there-
for, approved March 27, 1872," reads as follows:

Sec. 9. The plans and specifications of said asylum shall be upon the basis of accommo-
dating not exceeding five hundred patients at any one time.



13

In accordance with the foregoing provision the Directors advertised
for plans and specifications for an asyhim to accommodate five hun-
dred patients. The architects, Wright & Sanders, of San Francisco,
the successful bidders, proceeded to erect the buildings upon this basis.
And no one supposed that more than six hundred would ever be
accommodated within its walls. But alas for human calculations.
Patients «-ere committed with such rapidity that within a few years
ever\' available space was occupied. An appeal was made to the Leg-
islature for additional accommodations to relieve the pressure under
which this asylum was laboring. Twenty thousand dollars was
appropriated by the Legislature of 1878, and eighteeen thousand by
that of 1880. With these sums, aggregating thirty-eight thousand dol-
lars, all of the available vacant space, including five attics, were fitted
up and three hundred additional beds were added to the capacity of
the asylum. When this space was occupied the process of packing
commenced and has been kept up till the present time, when (1,319)
thirteen hundred and nineteen patients are crowded in space not
large enough to accommodate properly a thousand. Most of the rooms
intended for one patient are occupied by two, while scores of beds are
nightly made upon the corridors. Proper classification has long since
been rendered impossible. The prospects of recovery have been
greatly diminished and all of the appurtenances have become too small.
The kitchen, the laundry, the bakery, the sewing-room, the dairy, and
the dining-rooms, constructed for the accommodation of less than
half the number now present, are all too small to meet the demand
made upon them, and the result is discomfort, anxiety, and danger.

ANOTHER ASYLUM NEEDED.

The asylum at Stockton, I am informed by Dr. Brown, the Medical
Superintendent, is almost as crowded as this, and he agrees with me
in the opinion that the time has come when the State must either
abandon the munificent policy of providing for this unfortunate
class of her people, or take immediate steps for the construction of
another asylum. It sJiould be located on the peninsula. Foreseeing
the emergency that now rests upon us, I recommended in my last
report for 1882 the construction of an asylum on the peninsula, as a
convenient location for the City of San Francisco and the contiguous
counties. It is a cardinal principle in the location of asylums that
they should be as accessible as possible to the great majority of those
to be accommodated, not only as a matter of convenience, but econ-
omy also.

Of the 500 patients committed to this asylum last year, 292, or
nearly three fifths, were from San Francisco alone, to sa}"^ nothing of
those who passed through that city en route to this asylum. Cer-
tainly some available site can be obtained, somewhere between the
city and San Jose, or on the opposite side of the bay, possessing all of
the desirable requisites for the location of such an institution. Two
or three hundred acres of land, an abundant supply of water, salu-
brity of climate, beauty of scenery, sewerage facilities and conve-
nience of access, are the most important matters to be considered in
the selection of a location; and all of these are said to pertain to that
portion of the State. Should provision be made by the next Legis-
lature, it would require two or three years to complete the asylum
and be ready for the reception of patients. In the meantime, the



14

increase in this asylum will have to be checked in a measure, at
least, by discharging the harmless, to make room for the more dan-
gerous and desperate who may be committed to our care.

NEEDS OF THE XAPA ASYLUM.

Aside from the sum necessary for the maintenance of this asylum,
I have nothing to recommend as far as appropriations are concerned,
save and except the "Infirmaries" so devoutly to be wished for and
so often imploringly asked for in my previous reports, from which I
beg leave once more to quote:



INFIRMARIES.



The construction of two infirmaries, one for each sex, in which the sick and bed-ridden
patients can be made more comfortable, and be better treated than it is possible amid the noise
and confusion of the wards as at present arranged, is of the first importance.

In my report to Governor Haight, in 1871, after visiting the best asylums in the world, I
recommended infirmaries as necessary adjuncts to any asylum that might be built, and at my
suggestion, they were made a part ofthe'plan for this asylum, but unfortunately, were never
built. I again renewed the recommendation in my last report to your honorable Board, and
will continue to do so in each succeeding report, until the desired end shall have been accom-
plished.

Dr. John P. Gray, Superintendent of the State Lunatic Asylum at Utica, New York, in his
last report to the Board of Managers of that asylum, says: " I would call your attention to the
importance of building a small wing, or hospital, for the special care of the more feeble and
sick class of patients. Our arrangements for taking care of the sick, though probably as good
as in other similar institutions, must be regarded as very imperfect. All sick patients should
be immediately removed from the wards to a hospital department, properly arranged, when
every attention demanded by their conditions could be bestowed; where the physician could
visit" them frequently through the day, and in the night if necessary, without disturbing others;
where those very ill" could be visited," and if advisable, nursed by their friends. The experience
of the great benefit of the small hospital wing for women makes the need of fhe one for the
men seem more urgent."

The estimated co'st for building, equipping, and finishing these infirmaries, for thirty patients
each, is $40,000 for the two, or $750 for each patient to be accommodated.

I also desire to call your attention to the fact that no asylum for
the insane in the world, so far as my information extends, has so
small a medical staff in proportion to the number of patients as per-
tains to the asylums of California. As you must know, much of my
time is necessarily devoted to the general management of the institu-
tion in all of its manifold details. There are many days that it is not
possible for me to visit the " wards," and when one of the medical
staff is either sick or absent, the duties of visitation and correspondence
are more than should devolve upon the rest. I therefore submit for
your consideration the propriety if not the necessity of employing a
Third Assistant Physician who must necessarily be a man without a
family, or occupy the position of a visiting physician only, with his
residence outside of the asylum. In this case he should be required
to make daily visits through the "wards" and to devote eight hours
of each day to the service of the asylum. He should be a well educated
and accomplished physician, with a taste for pathological studies and
especially of nervous diseases. His salary can be fixed at such rates
as the Board may deem just and proper.



15

NATIVITY.



Nativity.


Males.


Females.




Total.


United States


117

201

9


65

106

2


182




307




11








Totals


327


173


500







This table shows several interesting facts, and deserves more than
ordinaiy attention and thoughtful consideration. It demonstrates
the fact so often noticed in my previous reports, viz., that those who
come to our country from foreign lands are four times as susceptible
to attacks of insanity as natives of the United States. During the
last year 173 natives were sent to this asylum out of a population of
571,820, or one to 3,305, while 292,874 constitutes the foreign born popu-
lation of the State, and from them were committed to the asylum 327
insane persons, or one to 895. I have been unable to discover any
other reasons for this discrepancy than those previously assigned in
my reports, viz. : the change in the diet and habits of life, and the
immigration of a large number from the defective classes of other
countries, some of whom we have every reason to believe are aided
by the Governments from which they came. In this connection I am
happy to observe that the State of New York has recently taken steps
to have all such defective immigrants returned by the steamers on
which they came, and that clearances have been refused these steam-
ers by the Custom House officers until tickets for the return of these
defectives have been issued. It is a step in the right direction, and
one that should, in my opinion, be inaugurated by every State in the
Union, and should be made to apply to common carriers of every kind.
In this way the tide of defectives may be checked, and thus enable
us to take care of those we have. The question of providing for and
taking care of the helpless, defective, dependent, and criminal classes
is already a most serious one, and must be looked squarely in the face.
No good citizen can desire to shirk his portion of the responsibility
or the burden he must bear, yet he can carry only so much weight,
and when he is already heavily laden he is not disposed to invite
other helpless ones to get upon his back. We have enough of these
already in our midst, who must be provided with asylum homes and
cared for as thev deserve.



HOME FOR FEEBLE-MINDED CHILDREN.

Notably among the objects worthy of assistance and deserving the
care and support of the Commonwealth, is a "home for feeble-minded
and idiot children" of the State. Feeling the great necessity of such
an institution, a number of philanthropic and charitable ladies and
gentlemen of the State have formed the "California Association for the
care and training of feeble-minded children." It has a temporary
home at the Vallejo White Sulphur Springs, a most beautiful and suit-
able location for such an institution, a description of which has been
fully set forth inthe first semi-annual report of the Board of Directors,
and I agree with them in the hope and expectation that the next
Legislature will purchase the property, adopt it as one of the insti-



16

tutions of the State, make it a home for every idiot child in the State,
with a training school for such as can in any way be improved. I
give to this proposed institution my cordial and emphatic indorse-
ment, because from my position I am better able to judge of its
necessity than are persons differently situated, and I but deem it my
duty as a public officer to call attention to the justice and propriety
of its claims.

The crowded condition of this asylum has made it necessary so far
as possible, to enforce the law which provides that this class of per-
sons shall not be committed to this asylum ; though some still remain
who have neither parents, homes, nor friends, and, therefore, must be
kept here at great disadvantage to them and to this asylum, until
a suitable place can be provided for their reception.

CONDITION AND EMPLOYMENT OF PATIENTS.

With the exception of the discomforts of an overcrowded house»
the patients have never been in a more healthy or satisfactory condi-
tion than at this time. We have been Avonderf ully free from epidemic
and endemic diseases, which I attribute in a large degree, at least, to
the abundant supply of pure good water; the scrupulous cleanliness
of the wards; the free ventilation of the house; the daily exercise in
the open air of all the patients who are not confined to bed, and the
employment of all who can be induced to assist in any department
of the institution, whether in assisting the attendants in keeping the
wards in good order; as helpers in the kitchen, laundry, bakery,
boiler house, engine room, dairy, and stables, or as workers upon the
farm, grounds, or in the vegetable garden, and last, though by no
means least, by the women in the ironing and sewing rooms, as the
reports of the Steward and Matron will attest. One hundred and
twenty-six males are actively employed outside of the wards, and
two hundred and eleven on the inside in various ways, the proportion
of females being a little less.

steward's report.

From the clear and concise report of the Steward, you have an
itemized account of all the articles purchased and consumed during
the year, together with the cost of the different departments in the
aggregate, and in detail, with the exception of the expenditures from
the Contingent Fund to be found in the report of the Board of Trus-
tees, as required by law.

The products of the farm, garden, and dairy are also to be found in
this report. These products are consumed by the jmtients, but not
included in the per capita cost.

IMPROVEMENTS.

A vast amount of work has been done by the patients and those
having them in charge, that does not appear in any report, which
justice demands shall be recorded. The Legislature at its last session
made several special appropriations for this asylum, among which
were those for the construction of a wharf, a stable, and barn, and a



Online LibraryCalifornia. LegislatureAppendix to the Journals of the Senate and Assembly of the ... session of the Legislature of the State of California (Volume 1885v.1) → online text (page 48 of 83)